As Unitarians, we are committed to protect and respect life on Earth. This applies in particular to the 6th and the 7th principles, which state “Peace, liberty and justice for all” and “Respect the interdependent web of all existence of which we are part.”
Based on these principles, the Environmental Justice Team (EJT) encourages us to apply the slogan “Think globally, act locally.” We understand the science that tells us that climate change is an immediate and existential threat to life on our planet. We acknowledge the interdependence of the web of life and the need for climate justice. Unless many changes are made soon, we face dire consequences forcing our children and grandchildren to face drastically impoverished ecosystems. We asked ourselves, what immediate actions can we undertake to affect the reduction of fossil fuel-based greenhouse gases, the major cause of climate change? Fortunately, the new energy economy based on renewably generated electricity provides an incredible opportunity not only to provide clean power, but also at much lower rates than any fossil fuel-based energy can compete with.
There are few actions that have a greater impact on the reduction of greenhouse gases than the local generation of renewable energy. Because of La Plata Electric Association’s (LPEA) contract with Tri-State ending in 2050, our member owned co-op is presently limited to generating only 5% of our power from local sources (not coal), which we maxed out a long time ago. Tri-State has not acted on LPEA’s request to allow us to increase the amount of locally generated renewable energy, nor has it responded to our request for a partial or total buy-out dollar amount.
Only by electing progressive board directors can we free ourselves from Tri-State’s supply monopoly, something two other Tri-State co-ops have been able to do recently. Locally generated and/or renewable energy purchased at market prices are both considerably less expensive than the mostly coal fired power we currently pay Tri-State to deliver, producing a net benefit to our local economy as well as environmental benefits.
Our 5th Principle encourages us to fully participate in the democratic process. You should already have your ballot. Please vote and make a difference! Since only 25% of LPEA members traditionally vote, our votes based on these principles can make a difference in a close election. Your vote matters!
San Juan Citizens Alliance has organized the election of energy progressive board candidates consistent with these principles. Additional information can be found on their website.